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How to slay your first Twitter chat

Updated: Mar 15, 2021

First, let’s get into the nuts and bolts of a Twitter chat. A Twitter chat is a conversation happening on Twitter using a specific hashtag during a specific time and date. Typically, they area associated with a theme, for example read across America week. To learn more about a Twitter chat, please read through this article about how a Twitter chat works.

These chats occur at all times of the day and every day of the week so browse through the list included below in the Participate calendar and select a chat that works with your schedule. I guarantee there is a chat happening that fits your schedule and interests. I know some of you may feel a little overwhelmed about completing a twitter chat, but it is such an amazing learning experience for you to get ideas and network with others.

Alright, maybe I talked you into dipping your toes into the waters of a Twitter chat. YEAH! Okay, so you decided on a Twitter chat you have the date and time planned out and marked on your calendar. You are pumped for this chat because it is a topic that you are interested in and you want to connect with others around this area.

It is almost time for the Twitter chat to start – what do you do?

  1. First, take a breath, you can do this. You got this.

  2. Follow the moderator(s). These are the people that will be posting the questions in the Q1, Q2 format.

  3. When you respond to the questions using A1, A2 format.

  4. Don't forget the hashtag for the chat in your reply or comments during the chat. You want your voice to be heard - so don't forget the hashtag.

  5. Answer the questions as the moderator posts them. Do NOT answer all questions and leave the chat!

  6. Engage others in conversation about the topic - don't be afraid to ask questions.

  7. Use this time to build that positive, professional digital presence.

  8. Don’t be afraid to engage in side conversations during a Twitter chat with participants

  9. Try using Tweetdeck during the Twitter chat.

  10. Use this site to find a Twitter chat that best fits your needs. Two of my personal favorites are # NT2T (new teacher to Twitter) and #teacheredchat (teacher educators chat)

Check out this video tutorial about how to participate in a Twitter chat using Tweet deck or Twitter.

Why should you participate in a twitter chat?

Over the years I have had my share of students who before their first chat they are excited, anxious, but mostly nervous about their first Twitter chat. After they participated in a Twitter chat we reflect on their learning. Some are still a little overwhelmed with participating in the chat, but others say although it is fast paced it is a great learning opportunity to connect with other educators, get ideas, share resources, and network.

Some of the best moments of a Twitter chat are:

  • Students are welcomed into the chat with open arms from practicing teachers and administrators. Usually moderators and participants are so excited to see preservice teachers involved in the chat.

  • When preservice teachers get to connect with practicing teachers after the chat and continue their professional relationship outside of the chat.

  • One preservice teacher participated in a chat and was sent a book by the author!

  • Another preservice teacher participated in a state related chat where she wants to work after graduation and was given the inside scoop on different districts.

Overall, yes, a twitter chat can be fast paced, but the learning that occurs within a chat is priceless! So try one out this week! Take charge of your own professional development and dive into a Twitter chat today!

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